(ORDO NEWS) — Newspaper (NZ Press Aesn) JOHANNESBURG, September 18, 1972.
UFO notice: Try to avoid South Africa.
Gunshots, not a red carpet cheer, greeted the UFO, which landed unannounced on Smith’s farm near the remote village of Fort Beaufort.
No one disputes the fact that Mr. Bernardus Smith, several of his workers, and two police officers saw something, but the national debate concerns the proper protocol for hosting extraterrestrial guests.
The police insist they had every right to shoot at Fort Beaufort. Scientists say the shooting was stupid, if not dangerous.
And one newspaper complained that an unfriendly reception could scare off messengers from another planet. Mr. Smith, 40, says one of his farm workers spotted a UFO around 8 a.m. and he took out his rifle and called the police.
“It seemed to glow red in the bushes and as I watched it turned from bright red to dark green to whitish yellow,” Mr. Smith said.
After the arrival of the police, several farmers tried to drive the UFOs out of the bushes, as they drive away cattle.
“As they approached, it veered towards the trees,” Mr. Smith said. “At the right end of the object’s oval shape, there was a protrusion that looked like a star – it seemed to increase in size as the intensity of the white light it emitted increased.
“We could not shoot at it at that stage, because people were in the line of fire, but when the object disappeared below, I fired at the star. “Mr. Smith used his rifle and the police fired their pistols from a distance of 7 meters.”
About 15 shots were fired while the UFO sat in the bushes in bright sunlight for more than four hours.
Mr. Smith said the object, which was about a meter wide and two meters long.
The UFO eventually took off, crashing through the undergrowth with a bang. A dozen more hastily assembled policemen combed the area. They photographed and made plaster casts of several triangular footprints on the ground and sent soil samples for lab analysis.
According to one police officer, the prints show that the object had three legs arranged in a triangle, like a camera tripod, and that it touched the ground several times.
Now there is a debate about what to do when a UFO comes. “I don’t know of a law that forbids shooting at an invader from space,” says the deputy police commissioner.
“Anyone shooting at a UFO should be warned against it,” says Professor Arthur Blaxley, former director of the Johannesburg Planetarium.
“What’s amazing about these aliens, who are supposed to have traveled millions of miles to see us. They always land in obscure, wild places like Fort Beaufort, where they hide until they are fired upon by the police,” says he.
Mr. Wil Resnick, an astronomer and psychologist, claims that the shooting was dangerous because the UFO could explode. “But,” he told reporters, “the creatures that sent the UFOs to Fort Beaufort are more likely to be amused than angry.”
“Many South Africans think the UFO is fake because it was so small. But why? Isn’t that funny? We send capsules filled with tiny instruments to explore outer space, don’t we?”
“Obviously it was an unmanned space lab sent to study conditions on Earth or possibly to make contact with us.”
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